June 24, 2011
After a year's worth of hype, a scintillating season that saw him average nearly 29 points per game and confound basketball observers as to whether or not his style of play would translate to the NBA, former BYU guard Jimmer Fredette(notes) is finally locked in as an NBA participant. The Sacramento Kings traded down to select Fredette 10th overall, and while he won't be able to sign a contract with the club any time soon due to the likely NBA lockout, all the questions surrounding his draft status have been answered. A lottery pick, and a top 10-selection at that.
Sacramento's choice came soon after the squad dumped former point man Beno Udrih(notes) on the Milwaukee Bucks in a three-team deal that also seemed to needlessly land them dwindling scoring wing John Salmons(notes). So while Jimmer might not be able to step in right away and contribute as a starter for the Kings, he will be counted on to balance a deep perimeter rotation for Sacto that includes Salmons, 2009-10 Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans(notes), Marcus Thornton(notes), and Francisco Garcia(notes). With Evans doing most of the ball handling and Thornton chucking whenever he gets the chance, Fredette's shooting and ability to spread the floor will fit in nicely for the Kings, even if playing time is hard to come by even in Udrih's absence.
This is no hyped-up creation, mind you. Fredette has legitimate skills in an area you can never boast too much competence in, that of long range shooting. And though Jimmer did take, make and even rely upon some awfully contested shots in his senior season at BYU, he will have open looks even on a struggling team like the Kings. Even if he will have to work on the speed in which he releases the ball.
And even if the Kings have us scratching our heads following a trade that, and I'm paraphrasing Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com here, saw them trade John Salmons away for Andres Nocioni(notes) three years ago for short-term cap relief, only to turn Nocioni into Samuel Dalembert(notes) for short-term cap relief, only to use that even relief (though not all of it) to trade back for a years-older Salmons. It makes no sense, and they moved down in the draft because of it.
None of this will affect Jimmer, and it's nice to see him finally wearing an NBA cap. Though we still have no clue how long it will take to see him wear an NBA uniform, if things continue apace between the league's players, and owners.
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